ü The readings from the book of Samuel and the Gospel of John narrate two vocation stories.
ü Sometimes it is difficult to discover the call, we need someone to help us in the process. (Eli in the first reading and John the Baptist in the Gospel )
ü We have to respond to the invitation “come and see”
ü The second reading reminds us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
Ø The central theme of this book is the establishment of the monarchy under the guidance of Samuel judge and prophet.
Ø Samuel belongs to the tradition of the judges, but he also receives a new vocation: to be the mediator of the Word of God, to be a prophet. God who leads us in the journey of the human history helps us to discover his presence acting in our history.
Ø The monarchy was for the Israelites an ambivalent experience. The author of the book of Samuel, very honestly, presents the two aspects of the monarchy: positive and negative.
Ø Although there are repetitions and contradictions in the two books of Samuel, there is a common theology, that of the Deuteronomy, theology which we also find in the books of Joshua and Judges
Ø All the books which are inspired by the theology of the Deuteronomy we call Deuteronomist history
Ø They are not only historical books but the theological interpretation of history. The real protagonist is God, who acts and asks Samuel to act even when Samuel does not accept what the people wants, as is the case of the election of the first king of Israel. ( 1 Sm 8,6; 8,7.22; 1 Sm 9,16-17; 1 Sm 16,1.12)
Ø On Reading the history of Israel we discover the people’s infidelity to the covenant with Yahweh; since the entrance into the promise land the people has ignored the call of God made through the prophets.
FIRST READING Samuel 3,3-10.19
« This Reading is about God calling the young Samuel.
« The protagonist is neither Eli nor Samuel, but the Word of God calling the youth to his service.
« Samuel who has been up to this moment at the service of Eli, will be from now on at the service of the Word.
« Samuel was very much respected in Israel precisely for his mission to be servant of the Word, to be a prophet.
« At the beginning Samuel does not know who calls him, he thinks that it is Eli.
« Eli helps him to be ready to answer the call saying “speak Lord for your servant is listening.”
« The text says that Samuel did not know the Lord, thus he will need the help of Eli to understand the call.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM – Ps 40 2:4,7-8,8-9,10
This psalm is made of
o A hymn of thanksgiving verses 2-11
o An individual supplication verses 12 al 18
This Sunday’s responsorial psalm is taken from the first part
HERE AM I LORD; I COME TO DO YOUR WILL
I have waited, waited for the Lord
And he stooped toward me and heard my cry
And he put a new song into my mouth
A hymn to our God
Sacrifice or offering your wished not,
But ears open to obedience you gave me
Holocausts or sin-offering you sought not
Then said I, “Behold I come.”
In the written scroll it is prescribed for me
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
And your law is within my heart.
I announce your justice in the vast assembly
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord know.
GOSPEL OF JOHN 1:35-42
Ø In the liturgy of this second Sunday in ordinary time, we use in the three cycles the Gospel of John
Ø In one of the Christmas Masses we read the first chapter of the Gospel of John where he presents Jesus as the Word, the living Word from the Father who has pitched his tent among us.
Ø Today the Baptist on seeing Jesus, the Word made flesh says “behold the lamb of God”
Ø In some way the Gospel of this second Sunday is the prolongation of the epiphany of the Lord (the word epiphany means manifestation)
o Christmas is also an epiphany, God made visible among us as a new born baby.
o The baptism of the Lord is also another manifestation or epiphany, the voice of the Father says to Jesus, already an adult “you are my beloved son” and he invites us to listen to him.
Ø On listening to these words two of John’s disciple follow Jesus
o Jesus asks and invites them “come and see”
o And these two disciples who went and see, do as John did, they tell about Jesus to their friends.
Ø Andrew who was one of the two disciples invites his brother Peter to meet Jesus
o And in this encounter Simon receives a new name, from now on he will be called Peter which means “rock”
o The change of name in the Bible is always a sign of a call, a mission.
SECOND READING 1 Cor 6:13c-15; 17,20
§ The Corinthians, on hearing Paul about Christian freedom, understood that there were no limits to that freedom, but Paul invites them to reflect on their behavior. The limit of our freedom is God. “Everything is yours, but you are Christ’s.”
§ Our body
o Is not for immorality
o On the contrary our body belongs to God
o And God who raised Christ, will also raise us .
§ Paul asks them, do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Let us remember Paul’s theology on the Christian community, the Church. The Church is the body of Christ and each one of us is part of this body.
§ Paul says that we become like that to which we unite ourselves.
o If we unite ourselves to the Lord we become like Him, spiritual, this means that even living in the flesh we live the life of the Spirit; on the contrary if we united ourselves to a prostitute we become like her, we prostitute ourselves we become an object of pleasure
o Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us. Since the day of our Baptism the Spirit has been given to us so that in dwelling in us he will lead us to the fullness of the knowledge and of the life of God.
o The consequence is that we do not belong anymore to ourselves, because we have been purchased to a high Price. Our service and worship to God has to be true and sincere with all our being, and this includes also our body.
§ The reading ends with and invitation: GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY
The Procurator sent this father as extraordinary confessor in the first exercises we had in Lent of 1852. In this occasion I discovered that this father had a strict spirit in matters of virtue and even if he seemed to me to have a scowling character, naturally repugnant to me. Nevertheless I desired to profit of my soul so much that I preferred the rigor I imagined in him to the gentleness of our ordinary confessor , who considering that my life was, in some way, necessary , was leading me very softly.
Thus, since the exercises, I continued going to him for confession every now and then, without declaring to him the secrets and graces that God our Lord, just by his goodness, had entrusted to me, until His Divine Majesty commanded it to do it, and it was at the same time of buying the house for the monastery. (Venerable María Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 193-194.)
My first pastoral letter, written and signed on September 20, 1852, was addressed to the clergy. This letter was reprinted and expanded to include declarations on the following: (1) clerical dress, (2) duties of vicars forane, (3) duties of pastors and other priests, (4) arrangements for pastors and assistants, (5) style of life, (6) chaplains, (7) marriage regulations, (8) marriage dispensations.
To these points I added seven appendices on: (l) church furnishings and parochial books, (2) cemeteries, (3) stipends, (4) the distribution of allowances for repairs, (5) conferences, (6) the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, (7) the method of removing scandals . (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 547-548.)
CLARET, Antonio María, Autobiografia
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Convivium Press 2011.
PARIS, María Antonia Autobiografia
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras: doble comentario a las lecturas del domingo, San Pablo 2005.
SCHOKEL, Luis Alonso, La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo,